Birmingham City have produced several high quality players from their academy over the years, with Jude Bellingham the most recent standout.
Whilst it’s unfair to compare any other individuals to the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, there are several that will hope to establish themselves in the Blues first team in the years to come.
And, one who will have ambitions of breaking through is Odin Bailey.
The 21-year-old has already played, and scored, for Blues, but he has had to go out on loan to get regular minutes, with League Two Forest Green signing Bailey in October, before extending it until the end of the season last month, and here we will look at how it’s going for the youngster.
Firstly, the winger has been getting regular minutes in the fourth tier, which is what Blues’ staff would’ve prioritised when they decided to loan Bailey out.
He has featured in 18 games so far, scoring three goals and registering three assists, which is respectable return.
Are these 12 facts about the Blues’ history genuine or not?
With Mark Cooper’s side second in the table, they are playing good football and promotion to League One seems like a very realistic possibility.
Of course, Birmingham will be keeping tabs on how the youngster is progressing, and Bailey has certainly done enough to warrant another chance in pre-season.
A lot will depend on what division Blues are in though, because right now there’s the very real chance that they could be playing Forest Green in the third tier next season.
And, if they do go down, you would imagine that wholesale changes will be made, with the youth getting a chance.
Even if they do survive, Bailey may deserve a chance in the Championship, but it’s a big step up from League Two, so you can’t be sure whether he will stick around at St. Andrew’s.
With the pressure growing on Aitor Karanka, it’s far too soon to assess Bailey’s long-term future, but you can be sure that he will want to be playing each week next season, as he’s doing now.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.